Clay County wins district opener over HC

Published 4:00 pm Tuesday, September 27, 2022

By Paul Lunsford

Contributing Writer

Harlan County opened its district football schedule on Friday at home against Clay County.

The Tigers wasted little time to put away the Black Bears, rolling to a 42-20 win.

Tyson Wagers took the opening kickoff and raced 65 yards for a touchdown after 14 seconds of play.

HC’s Thomas Jordan scored on a seven-yard run with 7:50 left in the first quarter to tie the game at 6-6.

Lucas Allen scored on a three-yard run at the 3:48 mark of the first period.

Allen scored again on a 12-yard run at the 9:18 mark and Clay County led 18-6.

On the Tigers’ next possession, Rice found Tyson Wagers for a 33-yard touchdown pass.

Just before halftime, junior quarterback Tate Rice connected with Wagers for a 55-yard TD as the Tigers led 30-6.

Clay struck again as Rice found Wagers for a 39-yard touchdown pass as the lead swelled to 36-6.

Jordan went in from the 6-yard line at the 6:24 mark of the third period. 

Harlan County’s Josh Sergent recovered a fumble and went in for the score with 10:25 remaining to make it a 36-20 game.

A three-yard touchdown runs by Aiden Wagers with 2:21 left to play closed the scoring.

Rice completed 14 of 17 passes for 235 yards for the Tigers. Wagers had five receptions for 124 yards. Zach Saylor caught six passes for 64 yards.

Allen gained 118 yards on 39 carries for Clay County.

The Tigers had 23 first downs compared to 10 for Harlan County.

Quarterback Ethan Rhymer was seven of 22 passing for the Bears. He had 107 yards in the air.

Swanner had six receptions for 89 yards for the Bears.

Jordan gained 85 yards rushing on 17 carries for HC.

After the Black Bears won the first nine games of the series against Clay County, the Tigers have claimed two straight.

Harlan County (3-3 overall, 0-1 district) travels to Letcher Central (4-2, 1-0) on Friday.

The Cougars defeated Perry Central 49-32 last week in Hazard.

Last season, the Cougars rolled to a 51-14 victory over HC. The Black Bears are 10-5 against LCC in the series.

Clay County (4-1, 1-0) plays host to Johnson Central (3-2) on Friday.

Since 1999, the Golden Eagles are 7-0 against Clay County.